With snowstorms already hitting in many parts of the country and a winter forecast for heavy snowfall this year, drivers are right to be worried about how to be safe on the road. Especially if what meets the road – your vehicle’s four tires -- are threadbare and worn. Bald tires are incredibly dangerous and put you, your passengers, other drivers and passersby at risk.
Take a look at these 10 reasons not to drive on bald tires this winter so you’re not a victim of bad news balds.
Hydroplaning on wet, icy roads is extremely dangerous. Since you can’t know when snow, sleet and icy conditions will occur, taking the chance and driving on bald tires increases the risk of hydroplaning on wet, snow-covered and icy roads. The tires have no traction and your vehicle will spin out of control, possibly hitting another vehicle, object, or pedestrians.
You can’t stop in time. Safe emergency braking – when the driver in the vehicle ahead suddenly slams on the brakes – is out of the question with bald tires. You’re more likely to plow into the back end of the guy in front of you, with calamitous results.
You can’t safely drive the speed limit. Various forums advocating how to drive on bald tires mention that driving slower than 35 mph is the only safe bet. The truth is there’s no safe speed – and definitely not the speed limit or higher speed – you can drive on bald tires. Period.
You might be able to prevent your own mistakes, not others. Say you drive extremely cautiously, knowing your car’s tires are bald. You might, emphasis on the word might, be able to prevent your own driving mistakes, but not those of other drivers. A car runs the red light and you’re almost at the intersection. What makes you think you have a prayer of stopping in time? You don’t want to take such a risk with bald tires.
You may be found at fault in an accident. Driving on tires that are determined to be bald could be used as proof of negligence in the event of an accident. This not only will jack up your insurance to pay for any tire-related damage and/or injuries, you could get sued by the injured/damaged party.
Fuel economy plummets. Tires that are in good shape and are properly inflated contribute to better fuel economy. On the opposite end of the equation, driving on bald tires causes fuel economy to suffer.
Bald tires might make you a statistic. Among the many good reasons to replace bald tires this winter is to avoid becoming a statistic. According to the Department of Transportation, each year about 200 fatalities are a result of tire-related crashes, while an estimated 11,000 tire-related crashes occur.